Demonstrators block CN Railway tracks in New Hazelton, B.C. on Feb. 11, 2020. (Contributed photo by Randall Shoop)

CN Rail to shut down tracks in northern B.C. if pipeline blockade continues

Railway company has obtained court injunctions to remove both blockades and are working with RCMP

Canadian National Railway Co. says it will be forced to close a “significant” part of its rail network due to ongoing blockades by anti-pipeline protesters, including in New Hazelton.

Protesters have been blocking the tracks in opposition to the Coastal GasLink natural energy project since Sunday. The demonstration is one of many happening across the country in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en First Nation and its hereditary chiefs.

Meanwhile, a similar blockade is set up near Belleville, Ont. That demonstration has caused Via Rail to cancel more than 150 passenger trains connecting Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa.

In a news release Tuesday, CN said that hundreds of its freight trains have been canceled.

“The Port of Prince Rupert is effectively already shut down,” said CN president JJ Ruest. “The Ports of Montreal and Halifax are also already feeling the impact of these blockades which will have a trickledown effect on consumer goods in the next few weeks.”

The railway company says it has obtained court injunctions to remove both blockades and are working with RCMP to enforce the orders.

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he is working with the railways and his Ontario counterpart Caroline Mulroney to find a solution, and that blockage of tracks is “dangerous and illegal.”

On Tuesday, protesters blocked elected officials and journalists from entering the B.C. Legislature as part of ongoing solidarity protests in the province’s capital.

WATCH: B.C. legislature pipeline protest camp disrupts throne speech ceremonies

Meanwhile, RCMP said officers are winding down their enforcement of Morice West Forest Service Road, where Wet’suwet’en members and their supporters had been blocking Coastal GasLink workers from accessing a construction site on First Nation territory.

The pipeline project is set to run from Dawson Creek to Kitimat. Coastal GasLink has reached benefit agreements with all 20 elected band councils along the route, including five elected Wet’suwet’en councils. However, the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say the council established by the Indian Act only has authority over reserve lands.

The hereditary chiefs assert title to a vast 22,000-square-kilometre area because they have never signed a treaty ceding their traditional territories.

– with files from The Canadian Press


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coastal GasLink

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

White Rock cadets nab medals at Vernon competition

Thirteen members of 907 Squadron compete at regional meet

‘A bag full of garbage every 15 metres’: Surrey industrial area filled with trash

Local workers looking to recruit business, raise funds to help dispose of litter

Girls, women try their hand at marine rescue in Surrey

Achieve Anything Foundation, RCMSAR Crescent Beach host ‘Operation: This IS You! Saving Lives at Sea’

Surrey boy living with congenital heart disease to speak at local Tedx event

Mason Vander Ploeg will be speaking on saving the oceans

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Winds up to 70 km/hr expected across Metro Vancouver

Winds are expected to subside overnight

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Fraser Health warns some schools of possible COVID-19 exposure

A sixth COVID-19 patient is a woman in her 30s in the Fraser Health region who recently returned from Iran

High-risk sex offender cuts off ankle bracelet, on the loose in Vancouver: police

Vancouver police said Kirstjon Olson, 38, is a provincial sex offender with 27 court-ordered conditions

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read